Discipleship Resources International
Vision: Access to Resources, Capacity for Resource Development
DRI's vision is simple, though challenging: that the growing bodies of UM churches in our Central Conferences will soon have reasonable and sustained access to the resources they need to strengthen and deepen their work of forming Christians, developing leaders, and building churches.
What do we mean by "reasonable access"? Reasonable access means the resources that pastoral leaders need to responsibly carry out the mission of the UMC with their people are available, affordable, and appropriate to culture.
What is "sustained access"? Sustained access means church leaders can depend on such resources being available next year as well; the means are sustainable. As a result, churches can are able to plan on study resources for the laity and their leaders; churches can build resource-based ministries.
Building Publishing Teams
How does DRI go about doing this? To address the gap, DRI partners with Central Conference leaders, to launch and invest in Conference, Area, or CC publishing teams. Through agreements involving mutual responsibilities, DRI guides, equips, supplies, and networks teams in ways that build capacity and encourage growing sustainability.
Sharing Resources Globally
A global network of publishing teams is emerging that shares resources, services, training, and a common cause for all Central Conferences. As of August 2013, DRI publishing teams are active in Africa and in the Philippines, with new teams always in development. There are currently 12 DRI publishing teams. These teams are in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique North, Mozambique South, South Africa, East Angola, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Central Congo, East Congo, Tanzania, and Bulgaria (starting in October). In Europe, DRI collaborates with the Migrant Ministries Office of the German Central Conference on behalf of migrant congregations across that continent.
"You Give Them Something to Eat" (Mark 6:37)
By adding a little capacity for resource development through the creation of conference publishing teams willing to act on faith that Jesus still multiplies loaves and fish. "How many loaves do you have?", Jesus asked. "Go and see" (Mark 6:32). Like the Twelve, DRI publishing teams learn to go and see what gifts God has already given people that may be offered up to God and turned into spiritual food for the whole community.
Are our Central Conference churches in Africa, the Philippines, Eastern Europe and Russia to "send the people away" (Mark 6:36) to fend for themselves, for lack of access to UM resources with which to offer a solid and balanced spiritual diet?
DRI represents the UM Connection's commitment to bridge the resource gap by building teams and sustainable capacity for resource development within Central Conferences.